Economics: Irish construction PMI rises to 56.5 in September from 55.1 in August

Irish construction activity increased at a slightly faster pace in September but the rates of growth in new orders and employment both eased, according to the latest Ulster Bank Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

The index, which measures changes in total construction activity, rose slightly to 56.5 in September from August’s 29-month low of 55.1. Any reading over 50 represents an expansion in activity.

Activity has now increased in each of the past 49 months, with a healthy expansion signalled at the end of the third quarter.

Growth in commercial activity picked up sharply, leaving it as the best performing category last month. Housing activity continued to grow strongly and at a pace similar to that recorded on average during the 2004-06 pre-crisis period, albeit that the pace of expansion moderated from August.

Civil Engineering continued to underperform, recording a fourth consecutive monthly decline in activity, though the pace of contraction eased markedly last month.

Alan McQuaid